SEO Copywriting Tips for Beginners

There are many skills and factors that come with being a successful copywriter in the modern day. To allow your copywriting skills to truly flourish, you'll need to implement SEO practices into your copy. While this may sound daunting at first, adjusting your writing process to reflect SEO doesn't have to be a big deal, and with practice, it will put you in a great position in the future.

To get you started, we've put together the top SEO copywriting tips that'll transform how you write copy, taking your current writing style and adjusting it with digital marketing. Using our great copywriting tips will develop your writing skills to make more engaging content that serves its purpose.

What is SEO?

Before we dive into our SEO copywriting tips, it's essential that we cover the definition of SEO to ensure you're confident on this subject and why obtaining this knowledge is fundamental to your copywriting career.

SEO stands for search engine optimisation and is a significant element of the copywriting world. You can implement SEO practices into your copy to ensure your content is relevant to your audience and industry, with the eventual goal of ranking on search engine result pages by using specific keywords and popular, reliable links that align with your target audience's needs and interests.

We understand that you may not have a passion for content marketing, but SEO is one of the easiest ways to elevate your content writing and understand the best ways to engage with your target audience. After all, the main goal of your copywriting is to attract reader's attention, so using SEO within your copy is a no-brainer.

Now that we've covered SEO's definition, it's time to share some copywriting tips to make it easier for you to use SEO in your own work. Whether you're writing product descriptions, an email campaign, or a blog post, SEO's role and ability to leverage your content's quality remains pivotal. 

When writing copy, there are different considerations you should make that'll affect the finished project, and actively thinking about SEO will change how you face these processes.

The Research Stage

All great copywriters will spend considerable time completing research when writing copy. Even if you're writing content you feel confident in and have advanced knowledge, conducting research ensures your work is reliable and accurate.

Regarding SEO, research will help you discover more innovative ways to tailor content for better ranking results and building an audience. Alongside researching facts and information that shape your articles, you'll focus on market research and learning about the type of content popular within the industry you're writing for. Here are a few ways to do this;

Analyse Top-Ranking Content

If you have a writing project that falls under a specific subject, it's best to research before you start writing your content. Doing this is a simple but effective way to ensure you produce content your target audience actively engages with. So many writers go into copywriting blindly, either just using what their client has given them or their own ideas to form an article. Conducting research to understand the market is one of the best copywriting tips you can implement in your own process.

So, when you receive a new client, search their subject on Google and delve into the results on the first few pages. Take note of the average article length, tone of voice, content, titles, meta descriptions and recurring competitors that appear. By doing this, you'll better understand the type of content that performs well and how you can use this as inspiration when writing copy.

Write for Search Intent

Writing an excellent article is one thing, but actively understanding what you're writing for is another story. A good copywriter will always keep search intent in mind when copywriting, ensuring they create quality content that directly achieves its goal.

There are four search intent categories that your article could fall under; commercial, navigational, transactional and informational. Understanding the type of content for each category will once again give you a better chance of ranking on Google's results.

Although you may write copy for each category at some point, informational content is one of the most common types for copywriters. With this category, Google favours resource-driven articles such as blogs, top tens and 'how to' content.

The Importance of Keywords

SEO keywords describe and give context to what's on your page. So, if a potential reader were to search your keyword, the goal would be for your content to be shown. Using keywords is a great way to optimise your content and add relevance to the website you're writing for. Here are ways to do this;

Find Suitable Keywords

While you may have a few clients and ongoing projects with specific instructions regarding the content they would like produced, you can use keywords to streamline your writing process and generate concise, relevant ideas.

For example, say you write copy for a construction company; you'll focus your keywords on the construction services provided and the company's location. You can select these keywords naturally at first, such as 'Bristol-based construction services' or 'local Bristol construction company.’

Once you've selected a few keywords that suit your client, make a note of these, as they will be the basis of your keyword research. You should also note keywords that relate to your primary word choices, as your target audience will also search for related words.

Conduct Keyword Research

When you've outlined a few suitable options for keywords, it's time to delve into each word and understand how they perform on Google. If you notice that your desired keyword has an incredibly high search volume and the client you're writing for has a small website with low authority, creating content with this keyword may be like fighting a losing battle due to intense competition.

Instead of selecting keywords with high competition, it's best to find keywords with manageable keyword difficulty. You can determine keyword difficulty with SEO tools such as SEMRush. An excellent way to determine if the difficulty is achievable for your client's website is by seeing if the difficulty number is the same as their site's domain authority. This way, you aren't using difficult words but are instead using the right words that'll give you better results regarding ranking.

Prioritise Titles

Leading on from our above point, your titles should contain your favoured keywords and be relevant to the main body's subject. Your page title is what Google will use to determine what is on your web page and where you will be shown on search engine result pages.

If your target audience is mainly looking for 'top construction companies in Bristol', it is wise to incorporate similar phrasing into your page titles for maximum visibility.

Put Keywords in Meta Descriptions

As a beginner, writing meta descriptions may be a somewhat new skill you've obtained. When grasping meta descriptions, a top copywriting tip is to implement the keyword you're targeting within the description, so long as it makes sense and flows with the other text within your small meta word count.

Ensure Your Keywords Are Used Throughout The Main Body

While putting your keywords in the title is essential, it's also excellent to inject keywords throughout your article, as this demonstrates to search engines that your page is relevant to the keyword, giving you a better chance of showing in search results.

The number of times you use your keyword will depend on how long your article is, and you should always look to implement keywords in a natural way that goes hand in hand with good copywriting that reads well. For short form copy (articles under 1000 words), you can put your keyword in once every 200 words or five times in total.

Using this rule of thumb enables you to create compelling copy that serves its purpose without issues with keyword stuffing. You can implement this rule with long form content, too, focussing on using your keyword five times per 1000 words.

Make Sure Your Writing is Relevant

You could do all of the above points, but if your writing is challenging to read, your audience won't stay engaged, leading to them bouncing back to the SERP and clicking on another article. It would be best if you always aimed to keep your copy engaging and accurate. Here are a few ways to do this whilst not losing sight of SEO;

Think Outside The Box

You don't need to limit your copywriting; thinking of ways to make your content target various angles of your subject is a great way to continue ranking well. For example, Google's 'People Also Ask' section can be an excellent place to occupy and help you build a reliable reputation.

For blogs, adding FAQ sections or creating headings that directly ask a question, followed by a concise, clear paragraph of copy, is one of the best ways to achieve this. Usually, the ‘People Also Ask’ sections consist of short sentences that are easy to follow, so keep your passive voice to a minimum within your writing and get straight to the point to elevate your chances of being shown in these sections.

Prioritise Readability

Effective copywriting is concise, with the article's content providing just what the title suggests. An excellent copywriting formula for elevated conciseness is using power words that say more in fewer words. It would help if you also tried to use contractions to minimise wordy sentences, so instead of saying 'they are,' use 'they're' and other abbreviated terms that improve readability.

You’ll also benefit from reading what you write aloud, as this will quickly help you determine if your sentences sound natural and flow well. While doing this may sound trivial, it's a great way to improve your writing style and become more aware of how your writing may sound and come across.

After all, if readers aren't engaged and spending time on your page, Google Analytics will pick this up, so all the hard work you've done with researching and using specific keywords to grab customers' attention and rank well will be wasted. Excellent writing is fundamental, with SEO practices intertwining with top-quality content for optimisation.

Include Call to Actions

Your copywriting will have a purpose; whether you're writing for a company that offers a service, sells a perfume line, or intends to build a community, your writing should entice readers to take these actions.

As you've already tackled search intent in the research stage, you can be confident that most readers who land on your page will be there for a reason. If your blog post provides information, adding a CTA can redirect readers to a product page, creating a productive customer journey.

Including CTAs can help increase page views and conversion rates, all positive elements that great copywriting should achieve.

Focus on Structure

As a writer, structuring your work will likely be second nature, with consistent paragraphs and headings being the first step many copywriters learn. However, facing article structure from the perspective of SEO is slightly different.

You should always consider search intent and use this to form headings. For example, if your readers are looking for information, consider how your headings can streamline finding specific pieces of information, making it easier than ever for your readers to navigate your article and find the answers they need.

Going hand in hand with headings is using short sentences and easy-to-follow paragraphs, again ensuring your reader can skim and quickly find what they're looking for. Of course, you should also always use the right words and terminology that your target audience can understand, which will vary depending on the subject. In other words, read the room!

Implementing SEO into your copywriting may take some time, but the more you practice and learn about this intriguing subject, the easier it'll become. As a beginner, there are many skills you'll be simultaneously developing, and getting the hang of SEO early on in your career is something that'll get you on the right path. To learn more about the skills you'll need as a copywriter, check out The Authors Pad blog, where we show you the ropes of this exciting industry.


Here are a few commonly asked questions regarding SEO and copywriting; 

Do copywriters need to learn SEO?

Learning SEO can take your copywriting to the next level when writing content for websites and online verticals, giving your content a higher chance of ranking high on search engine result pages. SEO copywriting optimises your copy and increases website traffic without hiring someone else to implement these practices. 

What is the difference between copywriting and SEO copywriting?

SEO copywriting aims to increase rankings and productively convert website traffic, whether this is by persuading readers to make a purchase or clicking on another article from the same company. Implementing SEO ensures your copywriting is optimised to reflect audience needs from a digital standpoint. 

How can I practice SEO for free?

SEO is a great, easy and effective way to increase website traffic, and you can do this at no cost. Take advantage of Google, using Google Analytics and delving into page rankings to understand your competitors and the type of content that performs well in your industry. Many platforms have features you'll need to pay for, but using Google and educational resources for free will get you off to a good start. 

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